Platform for new ideas and networking

Ensuring the sustainability of the results from the Management Training Programme in the partner countries and Germany is the primary objective of the work done by GIZ alumni. This includes the task of maintaining lasting links and connections between the alumni or their companies with the German industry. This has much greater chances of success when alumni establish associations. For its part, GIZ provides the graduates with conceptual support in founding and developing alumni associations so that it can cooperate with them over the long term.

Moscow. Russian executives are not entitled to participate in the MP until they have completed a national training programme called the Presidential Programme. This programme was initiated by Boris Yeltsin in 1997. It lasts up to nine months and has produced 80,000 graduates in total, who can go on to participate in an international training programme in another country directly afterwards. Up to now a total of 5,400 managers have attended the MP in Germany.

In early October of 2015, GIZ invited the Russian representatives of the alumni associations and the resource centres – partner organisations of the Presidential Programme – from the various regions to share experiences at a meeting in the Russian capital. The discussions there showed that the alumni associations continue to attract large numbers of new members and that a partial generational shift has occurred in their leadership. The Presidential Programme has about sixty alumni associations in Russia, each of which differs in the sort of work they focus on. Many of the organisations offer seminars or courses on specialist and management topics, hold conferences, and serve as a platform for sharing and generating new ideas. The strong commitment to social and welfare projects in their regions is also commendable. There is also no lack of cultural events such as sports competitions or activities for families.

In their early years, the alumni associations received intensive support from GIZ in developing their organisations in the form of consultation and educational training. Today they serve more as partners in realising joint events focussing on German-Russian economic cooperation. Thanks to the support of the German-Russian Chamber of Commerce, representatives of German companies have participated in nearly every German-Russian alumni event of recent years to share their experiences on a current event or to present their products. Topics such as energy-efficient and low-resource production or possibilities for energy contracting for mining companies have been part of past agendas. Waste management experiences of German companies in the Russian Federation and the possible use of new energy-efficient solutions from Germany in Siberia have also been topics of discussion.

Cooperation with the German-Russian Management Network (DRMN) is a special feature of the alumni work with the Russian Federation. DRMN is an alumni association of German managers who participated the MP supplementary programme “Fit for Business in Russia” and successfully completed a training course in Russia. This network of German and Russian executives offers a unique platform for strengthening and expanding economic cooperation, thereby contributing to the sustainability of the Management Training Programme.

The conference has demonstrated that the work of the alumni is diverse and attractive, and viable as a platform for new ideas and ne networking. The conference participants still consider GIZ to be a valuable partner. GIZ will also continue to work specifically with the alumni associations form numerous Russian regions to help give additional stimulus to interregional cooperation amongst the alumni associations.